Effects of Tobacco on Oral Health
Tobacco is responsible for nearly 5 million deaths every year, and that number is projected to increase to more than 10 million deaths a year over the next decade. Smoking and tobacco use is linked to major health problems, including chronic bronchitis, heart attack, stroke and asthma and lung, throat, oral, bladder, kidney and stomach cancers. Tobacco use has also been associated with serious oral health complications.
When you use tobacco, the toxins it contains can interfere with the healing process and dry out your mouth. This can dramatically increase your risk of cavities and gum disease. Dry mouth may sound like more of a comfort issue, but your saliva keeps your mouth healthy. Saliva helps remineralize teeth, dilutes oral acids and rinses debris from teeth. When you do not have enough saliva, oral bacteria can grow out of control. This can lead to not just cavities and gum disease but also tooth loss, bone loss and more cosmetic problems such as stains and discolorations.
Additionally, tobacco use is one of the biggest risk factors in the development of oral cancer. Oral cancer is particularly deadly since it is often not diagnosed until later stages. If you drink and smoke, your risk of oral cancer is even higher. Watch for spots, rough patches, sores that do not heal, bumps or changes in bite, all of which can indicate the presence of a problem. Call us today to schedule your appointment with our dentist in Beverly Hills.
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